Over the two-week period, students at the Cambridge summer school will stay in one of the university’s beautiful and historic colleges, such as Queens’ College, and will receive four hours of teaching per day as well as a host of other academic activities. This intense timetable is a great representation of the level of contact time on a Chemistry degree course, so it gives students a fantastic insight into the level of information they’ll be processing on a daily basis when they finally make the leap from secondary school to higher education at university.
When it comes to the modules and disciplines explored on a Chemistry summer school course, students will be pleased to hear that the range is incredibly varied, with focus given to organic, inorganic and biological chemistry – so there’s something to interest everyone. What’s more, students will be given a taste of some areas that they are unlikely to have explored in great detail as part of their school curriculum. Thermodynamics, hybridisation, VSEPR theory and electronegativity all feature during the Immerse Education summer school programme.
By the end of the course, students will have progressed beyond school level chemistry, and will have experience of advanced, university-level topics. For example, by the time the two weeks are up, students will be confident calculating equilibrium constants as they work with weak acids and bases. They will have knowledge of the principles of quantum theory and should be able to solve practical challenges by applying the laws of thermodynamics. This puts students who have spent time on a summer school at an advantage when it comes to returning to their school studies.
Outside of lessons, students are encouraged to explore the stunning and historic city of Cambridge. The university is one of the oldest in the world with some of the most illustrious alumni of any institution, so it’s well worth using your free time to soak up some of the city’s ancient architecture and fascinating history. Take a trip to the Fitzwilliam, the University’s Art and Antiquities museum, and be sure to get your picture taken underneath the famous Bridge of Sighs.
Formal dinners, croquet and punting trips are all included in the Immerse programme and taking a punt up the River Cam is an absolute must for any potential student!
You’ll be staying in one of the colleges, too, and as well as being an exciting departure from living at home, this provides a fantastic opportunity to experience student life. Though parents are welcome to visit when you’ve got time off, it can also be a really good idea to use summer school as a glimpse into university living . . . parent-free. The three main meals are all provided, and a social event is put on most evenings for students to meet up and make friends.
Self-motivation is key on an Immerse Education summer school programme, in much the same way as it is at university. Although the contact time with teachers is high, students are still expected to drive their own learning. Each student attending the course will receive personalised feedback from their tutors, often including a reading list, as well as access to the mentor programme and university application support. At the end of the course, a graduation ceremony and Gala Dinner take place, rounding things off in true Oxbridge style.
Sound good? Then why not enroll for the next Immerse Education summer school?